Every month Google sends me an email notifying me of my Google Maps Timeline. If I click on the link it takes me to a map with red dots showing places I’ve been during the preceding month. Every month it shows me visiting 22556 W Ravensbury Avenue, Los Altos, CA 94024. That’s a valid address, a house in a very expensive area. According to Zillow, it’s worth about $5,000,000, consists of 2.5 acres, and has 3 bedrooms and 4.5 baths (that last fact seems odd to me, one and a half times as many bathrooms as bedrooms). I don’t know who lives there and I’ve only been on that street two or three times in my life, years ago.
I’ve figured out what’s going on. Every week I run in Rancho San Antonio County Park, usually on the Rogue Valley trail, which runs parallel to Ravensbury for a short stretch. It’s not all that close to the street, and there is another trail, also parallel to Ravensbury and closer to it, on the other side of a creek. Apparently, though, my phone gets close enough on those occasions to pick up the wi-fi signal of that house. The house is on a ridge looking down on the trails, with nothing but air and a few bushes between them. My phone then notifies Google Maps which in turn knows where that wi-fi is located. Those cars you see with the cameras on top also record where all the wi-fi signals they detect are. It’s a popular hiking and running trail. It makes me wonder how many other people Google thinks visit that house.
So here’s where I’m going with this: if the Russians really want to screw up America, they should have some dodgy Russian exchange student or “businessman” rent or buy that house. The NSA will provide the FBI with a massive list of people visiting with the suspected Russian spy den, many with clearances from NASA, Lockheed, or the many other defense contractors nearby, and be too distracted or overwhelmed to focus on the real spies. Maybe the owner of that house will search his or her address online and come up with this blog. If enough other people discover this same issue and mention the address, they may find their privacy too invaded to continue living there. Isn’t the Internet wonderful?